The kids didn't have school yesterday, and I managed to arrange my work day so I could stay home until mid-afternoon. That meant we had some time on our hands, and we decided a trip to our museum was in order. After seven years of going, we discovered a secret: breakfast.
The kids and I set off to the museum and were literally standing at the door when they unlocked it. Our first stop was the cafe for breakfast. Normally, museum food is not at the top of my list, but this cafe is actually really fabulous, and their breakfast did not disappoint. Issa has declared that they have the world's best pancakes. We also had the cafe entirely to ourselves, which was lovely.
When we finished breakfast, we discovered we were still virtually alone at the museum. We played with the wind exhibits with nary a soul in sight. We were there when the lemurs came into their play space for the day, and we had the exhibit to ourselves. We watched them play in the leaves without needing to give anyone else a turn. The wolf was enjoying the cool morning, and the bears were happy in the morning sunshine. The ducks paddled right up to us in the quiet. It wasn't until we were thinking about leaving that there were other people about. It was brilliant!
The museum was beautiful with the fall colors, and the weather was perfect. I just followed the kids about. We read signs and talked about what they saw. For one blissful morning they didn't argue a bit about what to do next. It's like they were on exactly the same page about our museum adventure.
As we were leaving breakfast, I made the choice not to take pictures. There were moments where I really wanted to reach inside my purse for the camera, but I was too afraid that as soon as I started looking through a lens I would lose sight of the real picture. I wanted to be fully present--not mom on the other side of an electronic device. Halfway through the morning, Issa mentioned that she was enjoying just chatting through the museum. I don't think she made the camera connection, but I truly believe she felt my true presence. I know the images I have in my mind right now may fade in a way that pictures posted here wouldn't, but I hope the feeling my kids had yesterday, of a fully present mama, won't.